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Grateful Dead Live at The Spectrum on 1987-03-31

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Grateful Dead Live at The Spectrum on 1987-03-31

Topics Live concert

Jack Straw-> Franklin's Tower-> CC Rider, Ramble On Rose, Tons Of Steel, Mama Tried-> Big River, Candyman, Desolation Row, Don't Ease Me In Touch Of Gray, Estimated Prophet, Terrapin Station-> Drums-> Space-> Uncle John's Band-> I Need A Miracle-> Stella Blue-> Around & Around-> Turn On Your Love Light, E: Brokedown Palace

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue The Spectrum
Location Philadelphia, PA

Source Recording Info:FM -> Cassette Master -> DatTransfer Info:Dat -> Behringer UltraMatch SRC2000 -> CD (Tascam CDRW700) -> EAC -> SHNAll Transfers Done By Charlie Millercharliemiller87@earthlink.netSHN'd On 12/8/03


Recording Info:
FM -> Cassette Master -> Dat
Transfer Info:
Dat -> Behringer UltraMatch SRC2000 -> CD (Tascam CDRW700) -> EAC -> SHN
All Transfers Done By Charlie Miller
SHN'd On 12/8/03


Reviewer: mifraidin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 10, 2016
Subject: First show
What an experience. Jack Straw blasted out of the gate into Franklin's and C.C. Rider, and we were off to the races. Candyman was a huge highlight in the second set; the crowd went crazy when Jerry sang "the candyman's back in town." It was five months after the coma and everyone was thrilled he was OK. And closing with Brokedown Palace was a gift. Now, as if being at the show weren't blessing enough, all these years later, my son and I listen to the show together.
Reviewer: chuck2000 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 4, 2016
Subject: Thumbblue's got it right
I actually skipped the summer tour w Dylan that year for the exact reasons listed. The music from the stage was simply amazing though and it made for some great shows like this one Fall tour 87 was lots of fun too
Reviewer: Thumbblue - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2015
Subject: 1987 Rebirth
It can be argued that '87 was the beginning of the end due to the pressure of overexposure...too many fans, security problems, etc. I feel blessed however to have been there and enjoyed these inspired moments. The fact that Jerry cheated death barely six months earlier and was now back on stage playing with such emotion and enthusiasm was a beautiful thing to see. The band was so inspired as was the audience. Sure, the jams were truncated, experimentation was limited but the love was palatable. I miss it. A great show....high energy from start to finish. The last reviewer was spot on...estimated>terrapin transition soars, as does the jack straw>franklins. So infectious.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2014
Subject: --
What sound! Certainly makes the case for FM-sources. Check the percussion in Franklin's Tower!

That slide from Estimated > Terrapin is sublime. Jer's Stella Blue solo soars. This is one of my absolute favorite shows from '87. Certainly the source accounts for some of that bias, but I don't care. Magnificence.
Reviewer: weekapaug12 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2012
Subject: twirl it is
so great to see so many of my locals on here-glad Ed Snider could schedule the Dead in the middle of the season for both the 76ers and the Flyers! This show just rocks from start to finish. For those that read Headstash I wrote an article on the history of the Spectrum and based on the energy of this show I voted it no#1 of all Spectrum shows.- "to much of everything is just enough"!
Reviewer: dupree413 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2012
Subject: Spectrum Rocks (Again)
This show IS a must have. I know that gets thrown around quite a bit. But given the throw-away treatment that nearly all of '87 gets, you need to give this one a listen.

While I still favor the '85 run at Philly - this show exudes tremendous energy and along with Roanaoke and Providence prove the Boys were back to the basics and in a big way.

The first set is like a horse out of the gate. Jack>Franklin's and others have been given deservedly high praise.

Second set - while Touch is not my favorite, this was just prior to the release of In the Dark, and still only 4 months after the bands return. Song had not become the VH1 "hit" that seemed to alter the scene and the shows after July.
Estimated>Terrapin - while not the best all time - is solid.
Post drumz could be one of the best since '85.
UJB is a wonderful suprise and MIRACLE has Bobby spittin'. Jerry is tentative as he approaches his vocals in Stella. I don't know if it was finding the right emotion - but by the bridge he is pouring his heart out.
Bob picks up the rock n' roll with Around>Lovelight.

And in a year saturated with BMR (and that song is a beautiful) we get one of the most heart-felt renditions of Brokedown.

I wonder if they did a Dick's/Dave's Pick-Vault release/Road Trip if they would put this one in the running?

God Bless and Enjoy!
Reviewer: key-zee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2012
Subject: Illy in Philly...
When in doubt twirl..The spring of 87 in Philly was hot! The band loves the city and it shows.My hometown never lets me down.Solid playin through out..Nice Fm broadcast sound..Give it a whirl
Reviewer: jahmansb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 29, 2011
Subject: So Grateful this was my first show- Home town Philly- Spectrum we miss you.
I can not really say anything more about this show than what has been so beautifuly written and summarized by my brothers and sisters below. I was inspired today by someone else who wrote on a toronto show not long after this one. he was going through and reviewing shows he had attended and comparing them only to ones he had seen, not all time etc. - The way someone below talks about this show as a bridge to 68, and others mention the hot spring tour of 87.
I was hononed to be here, WMMR I grew up on, listened to shows every new-years eve, and any others simulcasts, - this show was EXPLOSIVE! from the first note.. - On - the bus?? I was on. and it was a great great great ride from here... Thanks boys, thanks archive, and thanks to all of US... deadheads, where ever you are, who ever you are, one-show? no shows? 400 shows? 1000 shows? - it dont matter, if you roll away the dew... much love...
Reviewer: Colonial - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2010
Subject: OH MY GOD!!!!!
First of all let me start of by saying if you don't have this show , don't pass go....stop what you are doing and get it RIGHT NOW.
This version of jack straw is the most INTENSE version I have ever heard. The boys were just on this night. You can actually feel the energy just from listening to the show. It's almost like before they went on stage all the pieces were in order and they just fit how they were supposed to. Up until hearing this show jack straw was never one of my favorite songs, but that all changed after hearing this....then going into franklins....oh my god the journey is just beginning. If you are a long time deadhead you will love this show....if you are new to the dead you will love this is that intense.
My first show was in worcester ma on 4/3/87 which I'm sure you can tell is just a few days after this one. I listen to this show and just think to myself, my god what I would have done to have been there (although I was lucky enough to be at the "darkstar" show when they brought it back in 89).
Why are you still reading this?? should be getting your own copy of this show by now....:)
Reviewer: Dr. Bilvis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 30, 2009
Subject: Wake up to Spring '87
Lots of folks tend to dismiss 1987 like one big batch of okay late 80s Dead. I have come to the conclusion the the Spring of 87 is one of the best tours of the 80s. While there might not be many long jams or mind-melting psychedelic moments or dazzling song sequences, just listen to how really beautifully played everything is on this night and the others surrounding it. The energy and tightness are high. Jerry sings with spirit and plays great. No cheesy effects --save those for the much praised 89 and 90.

You must listen to this tour -- so much of that Dead joy in the playing and audience responses. This is the Dead -- crisp, clear, and on fire (try just about any song here -- but boy Jack Straw, Candyman in set one, the whole of set 2). There is something right on target about the Dead in this show (try Hartford, Worcester and others on this tour too).
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2009
Subject: 3-31-87
Good show. Good sound considering this was an FM broadcast. Thanks Charlie.
Reviewer: gratefulfx - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2009
Subject: The 3-3187 of 3-31-87
While not the best show of the Grateful dead, maybe not even in my top 10, this is an important show I believe. This is the kind of show that opens up your ears to the pure magic of the Grateful Dead. This was my first bootleg. My first show was 3/28/90, the first "Weight", one of the most amazing experiences of my life. But it was 3-31-87 that truly opened up my ears to the complexity and brilliance of Jerry and the whole band. It still does.

Listening to the Jack Straw/Franklin's tower open about 2,000 times helps too. But the whole show is as hot as the open. They are just on fire out the gate and they never let up. The mix is incredibly good, although there is a low hiss, maybe that was god listening in, sometimes he thinks he is Jerry Garcia.

You can't just jump into 1968 Dead and hear it fully. It takes time I believe. This show is a great bridge. Everything you are about to hear is what occurs at ten times speed with ten times more frequency in 1968. This show is the vehicle with which you can open up your receptors to 68 Dead, Jerry on the Les Paul, Billy and Micky chasing...ok back to 3-31-87

Here is my review:


The MMR guy saying, "here we go" on the first few notes of Jack Straw with the respect, seriousness and levity that the masterpiece which is about to unfold commands.

First Set:

A just perfect Jack Straw, it just builds and builds to such a tight but incredibly powerful finish. "Wow, that was hot, wait a second, is that...." - love the crowd reaction, they stay blistering hot into Franklin's, the crowd is a little stunned at how hot they are, maybe the band too, but on Jerry's third solo you just know this night is going to be special. Jerry is just on Fire, persistently. The boys is in complete control. Buckle up. This is gonna be fun...

Slow it down with the CC, stretch out some blues, we need a little break, into a sweet Ramble on Rose. Tons of steel, Phil Chimes in towards the end, nice save. Then it's time to play with an incredibly tight Mama Tried->Big River.

Can they hit a wrong note? Have they stalled once yet? No, they have not. Perfect game through 7. This is getting serious...

Then just a great song choice with Candy Man, oh boy, this was sweet. The Candy man definitely is in town, at the Spectrum on 3/31/87. Then a chance for a let down when Bobby has his turn, but the Desolation Row is just unbelievable. Dylan wrote the song, the Grateful Dead perfected it with this version. Brent and Jerry's subtle background color is so poignant, it connects the lyrics to the emotion through sound on such an impossibly linear path. This is what emotion sounds like. Then after Jerry's second long solo (another gem) there is a few second pause around 6:30 as they kind of miss the downbeat, but everyone just relaxes, and trusts, and there is just 10 seconds of magic, as they create a bridge 1,000 times more beautiful that what they might have intended in the first place. This is the magic of Grateful Dead, these moments of pure levitation, when the music plays the band, this is what other bands can't even approach, these 10 seconds. Then Jerry chiming in, "where lovely mermaids flow". Then a text book Don't ease, routine, quick tight finish. We'll be back in a little bit...

Second Set:

Maybe a little disappointment with the Touch of Grey, but even in a perfect game you throw a few balls. The band is just so tight, anything is OK, and for what it's worth, this is the best live version ever in my opinion. Great Estimated, brilliant tight jam, then the Terrapin D/S UJB, top notch, top notch. Hot Miracle, and then the most beautiful Stella Blue, Jerry's solos, especially the last one, are spiritual experiences for me. Things I can come back to now and again, to remind me of what is possible in this world. What I used to dream about. Humans can do incredible hings, make incredible sounds, when you witness miracles like this jam, it brings you just a little closer to your dreams... Hot round and round and then a crisp playful Lovelight, Jerry's color is just epic, best since 1970 in my opinion. He is just dancing around the universe, he covers it all with the primary Lovelight jam, some great interplay from Bobby too. The whole suite after drums is epic in my opinion, every transition is brilliant...

Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell, gonna listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul...
Reviewer: msMockingbird - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2006
Subject: Will Never Forget It
Background: guy I was interested in, involved with, didn't speak to for 3 months started talking to me again and asked me to go. Had a great time in the parking lot (took train/subway down) as informal 'concessionaires' were very kind and reasonably priced (where can you get imported bottled beer for $1 - nowhere but a Dead show!!!) Anyway was totally taken with this guy, was worred about dancing when I got in as I was, like a lot of girls (I was 17) are about their appearance, especially when relaxing and dancing. Luckily, the show seemed fast-paced, lively, and upbeat. The music wasn't too loud as with some bands and and things kept moving along and there was just a general happy air (hmmm) about the place, as with Dead shows in general. Forgive me for being sentimental about the review; I married the 'guy' and we have 2 beautiful sons (had tape of Dead tunes to play in labor for the 1st, was in too much pain to remember anything but Brokedown Palace) and have a wonderfully happy marriage. Guess I can't provide an unbiased review as emotion messes with my memory!
Reviewer: DandyBear - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 12, 2006
Subject: Good Show
High Energy, Good Performance. Im not a big fan of FM broadcasts though. The sound is a bit muddled and there is no seperation between the instruments. It doesnt sound bad by any means but I would prefer a good aud or sbd. Highlights inculde a ferocious Drums and an electric Stella Blue.
Reviewer: Finster Baby - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2005
Subject: 3-31-87
High energy show. I was at this show, so this is my first time hearing the F.M. broadcast. The D/J commentary is provided by "Bubba" John Stevens of WMMR in Phila. This is a well played show with a good setlist and the sound is very good as well.

Well worth the download....
Reviewer: shallwego - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2005
Subject: hot stuff
Yes, the VHS audio upgrade is great. Go get it at!
Reviewer: jboyaquar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2005
Subject: Another very fine night, 3 1/ end this Spring '87 run @ the Spectrum
Give it up for the radio listeners. :o)

1st Set: I can smell a 'strange' smell from here... Nope, all a tease. Instead a little "Jack," if you please. Not the smoothest build ever, but certainly train-powered. Easy segue to "Franklin's" Feels breezily right (where's the intro solo Jerry?!) A too short version tho quite potent. "CC" continues the sway, butt bumpin'. I dig these radio promos. It feels all appropriate. "Ramble" is enthusiastically sung and his leadership makes it a worthwhile version. "Tons" is endearingly nostalgic. "Mama"'s brisk, sung with contours by Bobby & Jerry...Gosh, "River"'s intro always makes me cut loose. Standard otherwise. "Candyman" is quite powerful tonight as Jerry really throws his emotional weight behind singing those reluctant verses. It just amazes me how I've never heard Bobby flub any line from "Desolation Row." This version isn't 10-16-89, (what is?) but it fits the bill nicely. "Ease" is just that, a triumphant end to the best 1st set of the 3 night stand.

2nd Set: Hey, we get the radio announcers telling us it's "Touch" time. Standard. "Estimated" slinks its way in, it's a patient pleasant version but does not reach the heights of a lovely "Terrapin" which both cleanses and reinvigorates my soul. "Drums" are lively and active but "Space" is too passive to quench my thrist. "UJB" emerges gently and is quite decent, especially the bridge leading to the final clap-along, (til they slow up to sing...awkward transition) "Miracle" is decent and despite the garbage raucousness of that ditty, they convincingly move to a very pretty solitary "Stella." "Around" serves it purpose, which is to arrive at a juke-joint "Lovelight." Hands holding hands, arms attached to arms...we all sing "Brokedown" together.
Reviewer: Mike1967 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 30, 2005
Subject: Hi-Fi VHS version now available
Reviewer: vancman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2005
Subject: smokin'
Checking out more Spring 87 as I just listened to Hartford 87.03.26 and it is stunning and amazing. swiss watch material. some of the tightest, highest energy goodness I have heard yet from archive. this is def an underrated tour. based on the stram of this show, it too is a must have. nice mix sounding mix. would love to see a soundboard or healy mix from the barnburning worchester shows that followed.
Reviewer: oldschoolHD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 23, 2005
Subject: 1st show
This show changed my life! The Spectrum was about 30 min from my house and I was 14 years old, my friends had an x-tra ticket and asked me to go. I said yes and was brought to a new world, " A carnaval" WE went in and it was j. straw>Franklins! I lost my friends and found new ones! This show changed my life! Ive seen over200 shows now and this will be 1 of my favs! the brokedown! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Reviewer: jhull515 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2005
Subject: Jack Straw
KILLER one just like this was also played 9-9-87 in Providence - 2nd song - check it out

review based on this one song
Reviewer: East Coast - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 10, 2004
Subject: FM version
I was at the show and remember it quite well. I also remember the FM broudcast version which I had in my collection. I would be nice to have that one downloaded. It would sound better than the aud version here.
Reviewer: sid weiss - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 18, 2004
Subject: good sound quality...vocal sounds just a tad off
Reviewer: lawrpm - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 3, 2004
Subject: Played for the Radio
I think that the Dead played this one for the radio audience. It is a good dead show, but not one of the best. Love it b/c I remember it like it was yesterday and it replaces the tape that I had from the radio, but good, not great. Like pizza, there is no bad pizza, but great is great
Reviewer: dpataper88 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 2, 2004
Subject: WMMR FM Broadcast
Ahhhh - how could I ever forget this show....
It was my 1st experience going solo to a Grateful Dead show. I get to my seat on the floor to see these 'ultra conservative' chinese guys who seemed to be the 80's version of techno-geeks - then the lights went out and the geeks became Heads....
This was the last night of a 3 night run for me so the Brokedown closer moved me forever....
I can still remember the Spectrum as being a special place for the Boys!
Rock On!
Ron Dalton
Reviewer: mdevenney1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 31, 2004
Subject: Smokin opener, hot 1st set
Try this JS opener while driving and see if you're not doing 90 by the time they blast into a great Franklins. Best-ever Straw, IMHO. Jer simply shreds the brief solo, drums pounding, Phil bombing, even Bobby gets into it with a roaring 'keep us on the run... RRUUUNNN!!'. The whole 1st set sparkles - great Desolation with more Bobby roaring "was that some kind of JOKE?!!?". 2nd set a bit snoozier - Jed must've come out scratchin the crook of his elbow after break. Rating is based mainly on the killer opener.
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